Letter writer speaks firsthand of benefits of being in Toastmasters

To the editor:

Regarding Carl Hendrickson’s Healthy Living column about the benefits of Toast-masters, I can attest to the skills gained as a member of Toastmasters.

I was terrified of speaking before any group, and decided it was no longer going to dominate my life as it had been.

I have no college degree. I was employed as an engineer on the railroad, so my employment didn’t demand perfect speech or presentation of a subject and a more important title.

However, I knew it was time to try a new direction, so I fearfully joined our local Toastmasters in 1982, when I first met Carl Hendrickson. He helped me a great deal.

Because I lacked a degree, I thought I would not receive serious consideration.

However, I soon found myself accepted and taking part in every aspect of the weekly meetings, performing the same exact requirements expected of all the other members.

Otherwise, I always felt equal. I learned so much, but nothing more rewarding than facing a fear and learning how to control it, rather than letting it control me.

Jim Harrison